Thursday, July 30, 2009

Copyright industry shrugs and says 'nobody lives forever'

Listen to the charming words of Steven Metalitz, one of the lawyers getting fat off the record and movie industry attempts to sue the modern world out of existence:

"We reject the view," he writes in a letter to the top legal advisor at the Copyright Office, "that copyright owners and their licensees are required to provide consumers with perpetual access to creative works. No other product or service providers are held to such lofty standards. No one expects computers or other electronics devices to work properly in perpetuity, and there is no reason that any particular mode of distributing copyrighted works should be required to do so."

But on the other hand, Metalitz, obody expects books or CDs to simply stop working because the person who sold you them suddenly decides to stop "supporting" the "format".

Cory Doctrow's response is neat:
It's hilarious that the same yahoos who argue for perpetual copyright (implying that copyrighted works have value forever) also argue for time-limited ownership (implying that people who buy copyrighted works should be content to enjoy them for a few weeks or years until the DRM stops working).

And if that is the deal, then the term in which the product will work should be made clear before purchase. because who would rent a holiday home if the landlord said "I might turn up one night and just throw you out, by the way. Won't tell you when."